Duduzane Zuma likely to deny links implicating him in acts of corruption
Johannesburg - As he takes the stand for the second day today, former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, is expected to once again deny links implicating him in acts of corruption.
Zuma junior, 35, who on Monday appeared before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry to answer questions surrounding his relationship and meetings with the controversial Gupta family and some government officials, spent the bulk of his evidence fielding tough questions from Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and evidence leader advocate Philip Mokoena.
Mokoena quizzed Zuma about a meeting in October 2015 in which former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas alleged that he was taken to the Gupta compound by Zuma.
Jonas further alleged that a Gupta brother there offered him R600 million if he took up the position of finance minister, because Nhlanhla Nene was going to be fired.
While Zuma and Jonas have conflicting versions about how the meeting transpired, they have both confirmed that the meeting took place.
Zuma admitted he met Jonas on October 23 and confirmed that he was joined by businessman Fana Hlongwane.
He also conceded that the meeting first took place at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank and then moved to the Gupta compound in Saxonwold.
Mokoena probed Zuma on why he chose to meet at the Gupta compound instead of his property which was a seven-minute walk from the Gupta residence. In his response, Zuma said he never did business at his home and would on several occasions host business meetings at the Gupta residence.
He denied Jonas’s version that he (Jonas) was never told that the meeting would be taking place at the Gupta compound. “So he just jumped in my car not knowing where he was going? He knew exactly where we were going and who we were going to meet and why,” Zuma said.
Zondo also questioned Zuma on why he had chosen the Gupta residence. In his version of events, Zuma said the meeting between himself, Jonas and Hlongwane related to rumours that were circulating that Jonas had accused Hlongwane of blackmailing him.
Zuma said he decided he would break the ice between the two “old friends” by facilitating the meeting. This, he pointed out, was beside the fact that he didn’t know Jonas personally and did not even have his phone number.
Zondo was also curious as to why Zuma was chosen to facilitate the meeting. “It is strange that Mr Hlongwane could not speak to Mr Jonas himself about these rumours or get someone if he can’t and he feels that he needs a third person. Why did he not think to get a third person who knew both of them?” asked Zondo.
Zuma also faced questions relating to the testimony of former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana.
Dukwana had appeared at the inquiry early this year and detailed how he was fired by former Free State premier Ace Magashule.
He also claimed that Magashule, who is now the secretary-general of the ANC, introduced him to the Guptas in 2012.
He told the inquiry how he was lured to Joburg by Magashule under the pretence that they were on a fund-raising expedition but instead, the two drove to the Gupta compound in Saxonwold.
He said at the meeting present were Rajesh Gupta and Duduzane Zuma.
Dukwana said Gupta offered him R2 million if he signed the deal and a further R2 million a month thereafter.
Dukwana said Zuma did not say anything during the meeting with Magashule.
“I do not agree with each and every part of this statement. I do not agree that this meeting took place. It is even more interesting that I am always placed in the middle of these meetings,” he said.
Zuma, however, admitted that he had taken former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen to the Gupta compound to meet Tony Gupta in 2014. He said this visit was simply a “meet and greet”.
He denied meeting former mineral resources minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi and pressuring him to meet Tony Gupta.
Ramatlhodi had said the interaction took place at the St Georges Hotel.
“There was no such meeting, the only time I had met him had been in passing and there has been no formal set-up,” Zuma said.IOL